Sekonda and its sister brand Seksy are sponsoring a new category for the 2019 WatchPro Awards: Volume Watch Retailer of the Year.
The category has been added in recognition of the hard work and creativity that is being demonstrated by jewellers and watch retailers operating at the sub-£500 end of the market that has been under enormous pressure for the past five years.
“We believe that the buyers in the volume market are dynamic and forward thinking and do not seem to get the recognition that their efforts deserve and that is why we have decided to sponsor this category as acknowledgment of their hard work,” says Trevor James, managing director of Sekonda.
There is no doubt that the volume market for watches in the UK is difficult, and many retailers have endured falling sales as discounting has driven down prices, shoppers have shifted online and smartwatches have grown market share.
However, Mr James believes this is driving volume retailers to work harder and smarter.
“The volume market continues to be challenging and the reduction in footfall can have a dramatic effect on sales. Buyers from volume retailers along with suppliers are trying many initiatives to re-energise the market not only in store but with ecommerce,” Mr James says.
Retailers have to adapt rapidly to changing customer behaviour, react to competitive threats and stay abreast of the latest fashions.
“Style trends appear to move faster than in the luxury world and if you look back five years fashion brands that were dominating the market have in the main been replaced by new brands. Traditional brands have also seen changes and for the first time in many years staple brands are now losing window space. The volume market is so sensitive to price and if promotions are not matched off/created sales are hit and with a lower footfall the buyers are having to work even harder to just stand still. Brands also have a responsibility to drive their sales.
“When there is a sales down turn brands cut costs and this normally means reduced or no advertising. This is something we have always maintained at Time Products and is fundamental in how our brands are positioned today,” Mr James concludes.